tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN December 17, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
mitt romney zeroes in on line of attack against newt gingrich in the final days before the iowa caucuses. this hour, the frontrunners and underdogs and the last big push before the voting begins. ron paul could be a spoiler in iowa. he is willing to predict victory? stand by for my interview with the republican wild card. and hezbollah militants claim they exposed cia officers naming names and causing a security nightmare. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room"." the first republican presidential contest is two
weeks away and a top obama adviser says the democrats are counting on a long primary season slugfest between newt gingrich and mitt romney. every word from the candidates could make a difference. jim acosta is covering the final sprint of the caucuses. jim, we're seeing a possible shift in the romney campaign strategy. what are you seeing? what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, there may be a big momentum shift for mitt romney out here in iowa, wolf. he had a pretty good debate on thursday night against the gop field. he merged pretty much unscathed. he was not the subject of the attacks from the other candidates. that was really newt gingrich's role. he was beat up pretty good during that contest. and so mitt romney came into a city and he said he plans to take over the voters in the coming weeks. >> what concerns me is that we
have in washington a class of people who spent their whole time in washington and they don't understand what you do. >> reporter: and for mitt romney, that message right there, that anti-washington message really gels with the message coming from the latest tea party favored to endorse this campaign. nicky haley, the governor of south carolina when she came out and endorsed mitt romney. she was saying the same thing. she would like to see a candidate winning the gop nomination who would really fix what she called a broken washington. wolf? >> jim, what else are the candidates going to get ready for the january 3rd caucuses, what, 2 1/2 weeks away? >> reporter: that's right. i think we're going to see a lot more of newt gingrich in iowa. this state is becoming very critical for his campaign. his campaign spokesman r.c. hammonds says he is putting on a bus the next couple of weeks, sort of like john mccain
straight talk express that worked so well in new hampshire back in 2008. gingrich really almost needs to win iowa at this point to keep his campaign momentum going. it seemed for so long that his campaign was really the front-runner now. but mitt romney's campaign has come on strong in the last couple of days. the negative attacks seem to be working on newt gingrich. and if mitt romney wins the state of iowa, which is possible and then goes to new hampshire and can tours that state and heads into south carolina with the endorsement of that state's governor, his campaign is looking very good. so newt gingrich definitely wants to wints iowa at this point. >> that will be a dream come true for newt gingrich, for any of the candidates for that matter going into new hampshire and south carolina. jim acosta, thanks very much. let's dig diaper right now with our cheap plief political analy. guys, listen to this exchange at
the thursday night debate between michelle bachmann and newt gingrich. it got pretty intense on newt gingrich's involvement with freddie mac years ago. >> i was trying to see these two entities put into bankruptcy because they frankly need to go away when the speaker had his hand out and taking $1.6 million to influence senior republicans to keep the scam going in washington, d.c. that's absolutely wrong. we can't have this as our nominee for the republican party. someone who continues to stand for freddie mac and fannie mae. they need to be shut down not built up. >> speaker gingrich? >> well, easy answer is that's just not true. what she said is factually not true. i never lobbied under any circumstance. >> all right. john, you're in iowa right now. how is that playing out there?
>> there is no question, wolf, no question from a week in iowa you get the sense that gingrich momentum has stalled. the question is will it slip or just plateau? he's down a few points if you look at the polling dat yachlt he's down in energy and enthusiasm. if you talk to the activists. the big question is who benefits from that if the momentum stalls? congresswoman bachmann hopes it is here. that is one of the most fascinating subplots herement i'm in a tiny town. i just had a conversation with a voter who says she is torn between santorum, bachmann and governor rick perry of texas. leaning perry a bit after the last debate. so if gingrich stalls, the question is who better fits and a subplot of that is a very fierce and split competition right now for the critical evangelical vote wloerz helped the last winner here four years ago. >> he's trying to be restrained, gloria, in hitting back. he's trying to take the high road. is that a smart strategy, not so smart because john is absolutely
right. his numbers slowly have been going down in iowa in recent days. >> right. he's got a barrage of negative ads running against him. did he fight back with bachmann. he said he reserves the right to fight back during a debate. the question is how long is he going to be able to keep this up? look, the notion of crony capitalism and washington insiderism is not good in a republican primary. and he's been attacked by both bachmann and rick perry for being -- and mitt romney for that matter -- for being a career politician. so he seems to be getting it from all quarters. at some point it's not good enough to say i wasn't actually registered to lobby. i wasn't a lobbyist. i mean how do you define that? i think that's going to have a lot of resonance in the republican race. they don't want to nominate an insider this time around. >> and listen to rick santorum.
he was not shy in going directly, directly against mitt romney. listen to this exchange. >> he personally, as governor, issued gay marriage licenses. i don't think that is an accurate representation of his position of saying potolerance. i have a track record of standing up for the values of this country. i had a nondiscrimination policy in my office. we're talking about chafrging the basic values of our country. >> i want to make it very clear. i have been a champion of protecting traditional marriage. that continues to be my view. if i somehow mised some where, i'm happy to be corrected. that is something i feel very deeply. >> john, you're reporting out there, the social issues like abortion, gay marriage, how important are they right now at a time of economic distress? everyone says the economy and jobs certainly issue number one.
>> they are issue number one. however, there is a core constituency in this state that in the caucuses, next year in the general election, make no mistake about it, the economy will be issue number one. but in choosing a republican nominee, what senator santorum is getting at there, he tries to make the case that neither mitt romney or newt gingrich are true conservatives. if they become the nominee, they can't trust them on the social issues like same sex marriage, like abortion rights, for example. and there aren't any huge differences between these republican candidates. they're not huge differences on the big economic issue. so sometimes that niche marketing, if you will, senator santorum is fighting for survival here. some people think if gingrich comes down, maybe romney can sneak in late and do business here. santorum is fighting. there are three or four tickets out of iowa. first, second and third winners and maybe the fourth place winner if that person is a surprise coming up. santorum wants to be that person. so he's going at romney trying to peel away the conservative voters, especially those who back romney in 2008 who wished
he campaigned a lot more this time around. >> santorum being tough and michelle bachmann is tough and ron paul. rick perry, a little bit less. still, the fighting continues, gloria. >> it does. i think quite frankly i don't think either newt gingrich or mit romney are candidate number one for evangelical voters. and so these people are really fighting for the people who went for mike huckabee last time around. and rick santorum does have, as john points out, a niche market there for evangelicals. he spent more time in the state than any other candidate. and i think that's why you saw him attacking mitt romney on the gay marriage issue. he needs to remind those evangelical voters that of all the people standing up there, he's the person they can depend on on those cultural and social issues. >> and i'll leave you with that. with this little exchange between newt gingrich and mitt
romney. let me play this clip from the thursday night debate. >> i think governor romney deserves some of the credit for having helped figure out a way to make this thing work a little. so i think it's a nice thing to actually have a bipartisan plan in washington that we can look at and n. a positive way and hope would help save medicare. >> governor romney? do you want to respond to that compliment? >> thank you. >> a nice little exchange. it's going to get tougher though, i suspect in the coming days. gloria and john, guys, thanks very much. in iowa, a victory not out of the question for ron paul if he goes the distance. would he pick newt gingrich or mitt romney as a running mate? i'll ask him. plus, growth on steroids or a budget buster. newt gingrich's tax plan gets put to the test. [ male announcer ] take the fixodent
the ntsb is calling for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. it includes hands free and hand held devices but systems installed by the manufacturer would be allowed. the recommendation is drawing fire from civil libertarians including the republican presidential candidate
congressman ron paul. should the federal government have a role in recommending when you can use your cell phone while driving? >> no. no way. i looked at article one section eight, they don't say anything about telephones there. so, no. they shouldn't be doing that. that is really nitpicking away and if some state decides you shouldn't do it, they certainly have the authority to do that. but what if i came up with a statistic and could prove that eating in a car causes more accidents than using your cell phone? i tell you it goes on and on. wreckless driving, people cause accidents. they're libel and responsible and should be punished for this. but this idea that the federal government's going to write a rule about whether we're going to use cell phones and then force them maybe to buy certain type cell phone that is already in your car? that is more government than we need. and one of the reasons why we're in such a mess. >> we got a lot of questions for you. i asked our viewers on twitter, facebook if you have a question
for ron paul. here's one. would you consider mitt romney or newt gingrich as your vice president? >> probably not, not unless they change their ways and change their beliefs and convince me of it. >> you're doing amazingly well in iowa right now. you're not surprised. a lot of the so-called pundits are pretty surprised. can you tell us right now, do you think you will win the iowa caucuses? >> i think i have a good chance. i'm not saying that -- i'm not working on a daily basis. i'm assuming i'm going to win this thing, no. i'm not at that point. but i'm assuming we're going to do very, very well and have a much better showing than anybody has given us credit for for the past year. >> because if you do win iowa, shakes up the situation going into new hampshire, south carolina, florida pretty dramatically. you want to give us a name or two of someone you would consider as a possible vice president? >> probably not today. i haven't thought it through. there are so many people that i know that would qualify. i would hate to pick one or two name out right now.
but time will tell later on maybe. >> one final question, congressman before i let you go. the past i've called you an isolationist. i get hammered by your supporters out there. >> good. >> they write to me and they say ron paul is not an isolationist. he's a noninterventionist. tell our viewers right now once and for all the difference between an isolationist and an noninterventionist. >> an isolationist is a protectionist that builds walls around the country. they don't like to trade, they don't like to travel about the worldment and th world. so some of the people who call me that are actually much more in favor of sanctions and limited trade. they're the ones who don't want to trade with cuba and they want to put sanctions on anybody who blinks their eye at them. and, yet, the offices, what we believe in, we believe nixon did the right thing by opening up trade doors with china because that is when we quit killing each other. and that we are more at peace with them because we better be because they become our banker.
so nonintervention is different. it's what the founders advised to get along with people, trade with people, and to have -- practice diplomacy rather than having this mill tansy of telling people what to do and how to run the world and building walls around our own country. that is -- that is isolationism. it's a far cry from what we believe in. >> just to be precise, waunt to bring all u.s. troops home, not just from iraq and afghanistan, but from germany, japan, south korea, every place else around the world. is that right? >> yeah. because i believe in national defense and our first responsibility of the federal government is national defense. and fighting these wars is not helping us. getting bogged down in afghanistan brought the soviet union to its knees. it's bringing us to our knees, too. we've been there ten years. it's contributing this huge deficit that we have. those wars over there have contributed $4 trillion worth of debt. yeah, want to bring them home.
i think we'll be stronger for it. i think we'll have a stronger national defense and a lot stronger economy. if we're serious about straightening up this mess, we have to deal with foreign policy as well as monetary policy and fiscal policy and tax policy. >> ron paul, running for the republican presidential nomination. congressman, good luck. >> thanks a lot. >> newt gingrich come out with a tax plan that is raising some eyebrows. we're keeping him honest with two top economists from both sides of the political spectrum. plus, the former new jersey governor at the center of a billion dollar scandal. he gets an earful from victims who lost all their savings. aches, fevers. tylenol: and i relieve nasal congestion. nyquil (stuffy): overachiever. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion... nyquil cold & flu doesn't. we've saved people a lot of money on car insurance. feels nice going into the holidays. ohhhh.... will you marry me?
. a new attempt to hold jon corzine available for more thanned 1dz billion that are missing. this time lawmakers heard from customers from mf global. they had horror stories to share with all of us. lisa sylvester is following the story. it's heartbreaking to hear the stories. >> that's right. these were every day folks impacted by mf global's collapse, particularly farmers who used the brokerage firm to park money until they need it to buy seed for planting season. and whether they put the money there, they weren't investing it or loaning it. it is like putting money in a bank account and they thought that money was untouchable. >> the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> reporter: dean toflin bought a new suit to come to washington. he is a hog farmer from minnesota. more accustomed to getting his hands di hands dirty in the field. but he's here testifying how mf global's down fall cost him big
money. >> co-mingling munn is stealing money, especially when it disappears. >> reporter: he had about $250,000 with mf global. $200,000 of that money is still missing. part of about $1.2 billion in customer funds that are unaccounted for. >> we will ask -- force. >> reporter: senators on the committee hammered the top three executives at the now bankrupt mf global including former ceo and former senator jon corzine. >> funds don't simply disappear. someone took action. whether legal or illegal to move that money. and the effect of that decision is being felt. >> reporter: for the 38,000 mf global customer who's want answers, they never came. >> as cfo,s whe where's the mon? >> senator, unfortunately, i do not know where the money is. >> who does? >> well, senator, i wasn't, you
know, part of my job was not to approve transfers of client funds. >> where's the money? >> senator, as i said in my statement, i do not know where the money is. >> um, it's clear that something was amiss and that needs to be discovered what that was. >> reporter: all three mf global executives said they did not knowingly okay the use of customer funds. >> i never directed anyone at mf global to misuse customer funds. never intended to. and as far as i'm concerned, i never gave instructions that anybody could misconstrue. >> reporter: those answers were not satisfactory to mf global's customers like david rosen who had about $150,000 with mf global. he says the buck stops with corzine. >> i would say that if he broke the law, he deserves to go to
jail. >> reporter: and farmer dean toflin fears this could have a ripple effect throughout the farming community. >> there are a lot of people, a lot of mom and pops that have their whole life savings tied up here. so we realize this affects a lot more people across the whole country. >> a commissioner with the cftc says the agency has tracked down most of the money and they know that the money was taken out of customer accounts and transferred to a subsidiary of mf global. and now their investigation is focusing on whether the transactions were unlawful. >> what a pitiful story. it's amazing. >> yeah, you're talking he was a governor of new jersey. he was a senator. he was the head of goldman sachs at one point. and now he's here testifying in front of congress. >> and i suspect there will be a lot more fallout from this. thank you very much. we've all heard of herman cain's 9-9-9 plan.
the money i save with progressive lets me do some pretty cool things. buy people gas. come on around, we'll fill up your tank for you. pay their baggage fees. you're so kind! thank you. even pick up their parking. i'm just saving it forward. this parking's on me. tell 'em the messenger sent you. so i'll be out there sharing my savings with the people i meet. hmm. been looking for this since albuquerque. saving it forward. now, that's progressive.
a new analysis of newt gingrich's tax code is out. he wants people to have a choice and he wants to cut the corporate tax freight 35% to 12.5%. the tax policy center says about 70% of households would get a tax cut under gingrich's plan with the lion's share going to the wealthiest americans. and joining us now, robert reich, professor at the university of california berkeley, the former labor secretary during the bill clinton administration. also joining us, stephen moore of "the wall street journal," senior economy writer. thanks very much. let's get right to the newt gingrich tax plans.
you tell me good ideas, bad ideas? let me start with you, steve. he says he wants to cut the highest individual tax rate from 35% down to a flat 15% rate. good idea or bad idea? >> yeah, i love the idea of a flat tax. this is the old steve forbes flat tax idea. it's even lower rate. he would also make it an option so that people can stay in the old system or move into the new system. and he also wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 12.5% which would make, wolf, the united states go from the highest tax rate country on our corporations to the lowest. i love it. i think it's very pro growth and will create jobs. >> what do you think? >> i think it's totally nuts. i mean already the highest income earners in this country who are getting a higher share of total income than they have in 80 years are already paying the lowest marginal tax rates they paid in about 40 years. to take those marginal tax rates down to 15%, i mean, you're going to blow a gigantic hole in the federal budget over a
trillion dollars in one year. on top of that, you know, the biggest beneficiary according to the nonpartisan tax institute, the main share goes to the wealthy of this tax cut. i mean, you know, people who are at the top .1% are running an average of $8 million a year and get 25% of all the benefits of this tax cut. this is absurd. >> let's get -- steve, answer the question the tax policy center of this group that did this study. they say it would create $1.3 trillion in additional deficit in one year if it went through. >> yeah, well, they're not looking at the spending side of the aisle. that's the other part of fiscal plan that newt gingrich has. he wants to cut a lot of spending. the other thing that tax policy center doesn't look at, wolf, is the idea that if you cut the tax rates and you make america the lowest tax rate country in the world, you get a lot of capital, a lot of jobs in this country. it will raise revenue.
bob, where you're wrong son the idea that this is a big tax cut for the rich. remember, the gingrich plan gets rid of the loopholes and all the carveouts and special interest provisions. so now warren buffett and bill gates don't have anywhere to hide their money. everybody's going to have to pay that 15%. no longer will warren buffett be able to pay a lower tax rate than i had secretary. >> the point is nobody is going to have to and if you're very rich, you don't have to worry about tax shelters anymore or loopholes because you're paying 15%. in other words, you know, this is the same rate that the people who are secretaries and sanitation workers and people who are, you know, who are childcare workers are paying multimillionaires will be paying. at 15%, steve, this is the most unfair, stupidest tax plan i ever heard. it just creates a gigantic hole in the federal budget. this is the independent, nonpartisan tax policy center giving us these data. i mean this is taking supply-side economics to a
bizarre extreme. and nothing trickled down from the bush tax cuts we know that. most people got no benefits at all. and now what is gingrich doing? he's taking let's take the tax cuts and magnify them 500%. >> hold on. he says eliminate all capital gains taxes, all estate taxes as well. you love that idea, don't you? >> yeah. this is a tax cutting plan by that is on steroids. imagine what this would mean for america's competitiveness. and that's the big issue. >> this is bizarre. >> if -- let's take the example of the corporations. can you go from being the lowest corporate tax rate, you're going to bring jobs and businesses back to the united states. you and i both, bob, talk a lot about the problem of outsourcing jobs. this is going to bring insourcing jobs, back into the united states. >> no. steve, look at history. i mean we've had this gigantic bush tax cut. we had no increase in competitiveness.
the median wage dropped. there was no trickle down. on top of that, you say we need a corporate tax cut right now? i mean big corporations are sitting on 2 there a$2 trillion cash. the problem is consumers are not spending. i mean this tax plan just gives more money to people at the top, creates a huge hole in the budget deficit, creates more unfairness. this is the worst tax plan and, believe me, i've seen some bad ones, this is the worst one i've ever seen. >> that's what you said about reagan tax cuts. they led to more tax payments by the rich. they lead to the creation of 18 million jobs. i that i worked out pretty well. this is the next logical extension of reaganomics. >> oh, yes, and we can debate reaganomics. this is taking the bush tax cuts which were even worse than the reagan tax cuts and is basically, look, any rational person is going to look at this and look at the rational
nonpartisan analysis both on the corporate side at the individual side at a time in our history when we have giant budget deficits and a time when the rich have a higher percentage of total income and wealth than we've seen in any years. and they're going to say this is totally absurd. >> you know what americans think is totally absurd? they think the current tax system is totally absurd. i doesn't work for america because it's way too complicated, way too time consuming and way too anti-jobs. one of the reasons newt gingrich is doing well, waents to blow up the tax system and start over. i give him a lot of points. >> i give him negative points. i give you a simple tax system based on progress. people at the top pay the same tax rates they were paying in the 1960s and 1970s when we had very, very good economic growth. if you're earning over $1 million, 70% marginal tax. >> you don't want to go back to 70% tax rate. >> over $1 million.
>> no. >> and i'd link the capital gains the same way. we get ridst budget deficit. have a fair tax system. we can lower everybody else's taxes. steve, that's what we ought to do. that is the mirror image. it's the opposite of when you want -- >> twunt go back to the '7 o's. want to go back to the '80s and '90s. >> politically speaking, steve, let's say newt gingrich has this flat tax, 15% versus president obama's got his own tax plans as you know. who wins with the american public on that debate? >> well, obama wants to go to 45% to 50% on the tax rate. newt gingrich wants to go 15%. so you're talking about a massive difference in philosophy and governing philosophy. and i'll say this, i think newt wins that fight and i think that's what this election will be about. do we want growth or do we want envy? >> robert reich? >> well, that's -- look, i think the election is going to be about paying their fair share. are the wealthiest in this country paying their fair share to bring the budget deficit down and make sure that there is
enough money left for schools and equal opportunity and investments and infrastructure for everybody else. steve moore and newt gingrich want to go back to what we had pre1930s when we had a very unequal society and a society that did not and was not able to invest. >> you keep saying that. the top 1% pay 40% of the income tax. >> steve, i think most people understand what's really going on. they know that there is no trickle down. they know that there is no trickle down economics. >> they know we can't tax our way back. >> they know the game is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful. and that's -- >> that's why we need a flat tax. wolf, we agree. that's why we need a flat tax. >> no. >> all right, gentlemen. i think -- >> rejected, overall. >> a good debate. a solid debate. i suspect we're going to be hearing a lot more on this debate in the come beiing weeks
months. stephen moore and robert reich, thank you. mitt romney met with wall street executives and the left quickly pounced on him. but are they being hypocritical? you're going to find out how much the democratic president is also getting from big business. plus, the list is revealed by a terrorist group hezbollah. and it could put some american lives in real danger. [ mom ] scooter? your father loves your new progresso rich & hearty steak burger soup. [ dad ] i love this new soup. it's his two favorite things in one... burgers and soup. did you hear him honey? burgers and soup. love you. they're cute. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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campaign cash, democrats flew this airplane banner calling him out of touch, reminding new yorkers of a $10,000 bet romney made against rick perry at the last republican debate. the progressive group moveon.org seized on romney's visit calling him the poster child for wall street and the 1%. the romney camp dismissed it as the white house being scared of facing romney in the general election. senior political analyst david gergen says democrats targeting romney solely for raising wall street contributions is hypocritical. >> barack obama raised tons of money on wall street the last time around. he'll raise money this time. wall street just turned hostile toward the president since he's been at the white house. but his natural romney would go there. >> reporter: when it comes to campaign cash from wall street, so far mitt romney is leading with $3.8 million to $1.7 million for barack obama. and take a look at goldman sachs. back in 2008, goldman sachs is
one of the top contributors to the barack obama campaign. so far, mitt romney getting about $367,000 if goldman sachs employees to $50,000 for barack obama. those numbers are compiled by sheila crumbholtz's group the center for responsive politics. she says in the 2008 election, the finance sector was the fourth largest donor to barack obama's campaign. and while many in the financial world complain about being portrayed as villians, she says wall street donors are not strangers to the obama campaign this time around. >> they are also hosting fundraisers and trilg to draw in donors from wall street. they have a number of wall street representatives on their volunteer bundler list. >> reporter: one of those listed as a bundler fund-raiser is democrat jon corzine. former head of goldman sachs, former new jersey govern gror a
u.s. senator who is being questioned about billions mising from his firm. and obama campaign official says corzine is not currently fund-raising for the campaign. and that it's been made clear that if corzine or any other m.f. global employees are charged with wrongdoing, their contributions will be returned. mary snow, cnn, new york. after a long and excruciating wait, a rape victim jailed in afghanistan is now free thanks in part to our over thes here at cnn. she's speaking out about what really happened. we're going to offing to get the story. plus, have you seen this, the new build prague jekt that's bringing back memories of 9/1e6789
hezbollah claiming it has exposed the identities of ten cia officers. brian todd is looking into this story for us. what you are finding out? >> some experts including a former cia officer we spoke with believe this is now a full-fledged covert war between the u.s. and hezbollah and by extension with iran. hezbollah's latest claims are true, the group which the u.s. calls a terrorist organization may have just made a damaging strike against american intelligence in a very crucial
place. with polished graphics, silhouetted images and ominous music, hezbollah ratchets up the war with the u.s. on a broadcast on a network, hezbollah reveals the names of ten people who they say were cia officers working at the u.s. embassy in beirut in recent years. it includes the name and date of birth of someone it says is the cia station chief. cnn is not airing that name. the cia would not confirm or deny if the video is accurate. a spokeswoman said the agency does not as a rule address claims from terrorist groups. i think it's worth remembering that hezbollah is a dangerous organization with a propaganda arm. that fact alone should cast some doubt on the credibility of the group's claim. bob bare is a former cia officer who served in beirut, was involved in operations targeting hezbollah. i asked him if he found the claims credible. >> i assume it's correct. i think i understand how
hezbollah compromised the cia there. they used telephone link analysis. so, you know, once you tie one phone in to another phone, can you pretty well identify a station. >> reporter: in the video, his even produces animations, re-creating meetings it claims occurred at places like mcdonald's and pizza hut and cia agents and recruits. none of that can be verified. he says that hezbollah has eyes and ears all over beirut from the area near the u.s. embassy to the airport, the defense ministry and parliament where the group holds seats. these new claims come after hezbollah partially unraveled the c.i.a.'s operations in lebanon. hezbollah has been a bitter enemy of the c.i.a.'s since the 1980s, blamed for bombing the u.s. embassy and the kidnap and murder of cia officer william buckl buckley. officials say the group gets weapons, training and money from iran. this is a foreman cia officer who tracked iran's operations in
europe and the middle east. who do you think has the upper hand right now in the covert operations side between the u.s. and iran? >> well, i mean, side between the u.s. and iran? >> i think the iranians have the upper hand in a covert engagement because they do it all the time. the iranians have a very he active covert paramilitary force, the quds force really does go around the world and kill people. >> now, on hezbollah, one u.s. official who didn't deny hezbollah's claims to identified american intelligence officers said, quote, repeating hezbollah's claims does nothing but serve that group's interests, making things harder for americans in beirut. this official said no one is giving up against hezbollah, pointing out that group has killed more americans than any other terrorist group besides al qaeda. >> what kind of technical capabilities does hezbollah have in lebanon? >> they say incredible technical capabilities, they can hack into most computers they say, wiretap
phones, monitor drones in the sky even. they're very impressive. he says they learned most of it of course from iran. it's a story that prompted outrage around the world, a young woman raped and then thrown into prison for adultery. we've been following this story from afghanistan for weeks as only cnn can do. cnn's nick payton walsh first brought are us this horrific tale and now there are important new developments. >> reporter: jailed for adultery because the man who p raped her was married, mother to the child of her attacker whom she's been pressured to march. gulnaz's plight highlights the suffering of many afghan, but after a pardon hamid karzai she was released to a woman's shelter in kabul. these are the first pictures of her a free woman, and her
daughter, delighted their lives have changed. >> translator: i am very happy that president karzai understood my pain and heard had my voice after i did the tv interview, and he pardoned me. >> reporter: her case has brought controversy some conservatives in society questioning whether or not she was raped and there is pressure for her to marry her attacker traditionalists who think it will help absolve her family from the shame of talk. we asked her if free to talk if she was rape. >> translator: yes, he did. yeah. >> reporter: and if she had complete choice, would she marry her rapist. >> translator: no. if i don't have to. i would not even care about him. i hate him. the only thing i want is to go home from are here to my brothers and live with them. that's all i want. >> reporter: but rape still carries stigma. even her brothers have found it
hard to accept her daughter. >> translator: when my brothers used to visit me, they would ask me to the to bring the child to them because they did not like her. but i always told them she was my daughter and had nothing to do with the man. i love her like i did at the start. i want her to be well-educated and don't want her to be i litera literate. i want her to be a doctor or anything she could become. >> reporter: her pardon a bold step by president karzai, setting a presence dent of others on similar charges. >> this is huge, definitely setting precedent for afghan women that are in a situation sufficient as gulnaz. i think the government has definitely recognized that what p happened not only outside the justice system was incorrect but what p happened within the justice system was incorrect. >> reporter: the future'ses unclear. her brothers may not be that welcoming. she may still faces pressure to marry. but she's free in a women's shelter who can help her understand the risks and hurdles ahead, and able to give the baby many more choices. nick peyton walsh, cnn, kabul.
a storm of controversy is building over the design of two skyscrapers in south korea. does it mock the events of 9/11? here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: it's not even built yet, but already there's a cloud over this proposed building in south korea because some say it reminds them of a cloud of. does this remind you of anything? >> yes, 9/11. it's in very poor taste. >> reporter: in fact, almost every person -- >> oh, my gosh. >> reporter: -- we showed the architect's rendering to -- >> oh! shivers just went up my spine. >> reporter: -- associated it
with 9/11. >> this is it an outrage. i survived the towers. >> reporter: ed walker was walking by the towers had when the first plane hit. he ended up wet with jet fuel. a dutch newspaper plastered the proposed building on the front page with a question, inbe spired by twin towerses? no way, says the dutch architectural firm mvrdv. we never intended to design a project looking like an exploding building, why on earth would we? this is quite shocking in this discussion that people they we might have done this on purpose. no! >> i don't think this is an accident. >> reporter: really? >> do you? >> reporter: but who would do that? >> pr. you're it talking about their building. >> reporter: oh, folks are talking, all right are. and for once the left -- >> p yjep, that's what they wano build. >> reporter: -- keith olbermann. >> change it, you look like
ghouls. >> reporter: and the right, glenn beck, sound alike. >> this is the most offensive building i have ever seen. >> reporter: the so-called cloud would actually connect the two luxury apartment buildings and contain restaurants, a wellness center, pools. >> oh, that's really nice. they should do it. >> reporter: she and an engineer were the only two who we talked to who defended the project. >> this is typically what an architect does, something different. >> reporter: the online defender compared comparisons to the twin towers to seeing jesus on a piece of toast. >> reporter: the architects pictured a cloud in the sky, a nice, fluffy innocent clouds. this represents the inspiration for their design. the architects apologize to anyone be whose feelings we have hurt. >> i don't know what think were thinking. >> reporter: during the three-month design process, the architects say they did not see the connection. somebody's head is in the clouds. jeanne moos, cnn, new york.